Did Justin Pipe cough deliberately to distract Bernie Smith?
By Sky Sports Darts
Last Updated: 21/12/17 9:12pm
Justin Pipe edged through to the second round of the PDC World Championship, but did he intentionally distract his opponent when facing a shock exit?
The 27th seed threw away a two-set lead against Bernie Smith before prevailing in a final-set decider, winning three consecutive legs to book a last-32 tie against Phil Taylor.
Pipe dropped just one leg against the New Zealander on his way to winning the first two sets, only for Smith to win the next two and move 2-1 up in the final set.
Holding throw, Smith was left with 56 and found the single 16 with his first dart to leave two darts at the double for a place in round two.
After Smith went low with his effort at double-20 and only found the single, Pipe was seen coughing heavily as the unseeded player missed his second match-winning opportunity.
Pipe went on to win the leg to force a tie-break and also take the next two on his way to progressing, although the "cough-gate" incident caused plenty of negative reaction on social media.
"It looks absolutely despicable behaviour by a professional darts player," Wayne Mardle said during Sky Sports' coverage. "That was a tactic for advantage, that was a tactic to make Bernie Smith miss and he got his way."
Was the coughing deliberate from Pipe? Click on the video above and judge for yourself!
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The 2018 World Championship from Alexandra Palace continues on Friday with Michael van Gerwen and Gary Anderson both in action. The afternoon session gets underway from 12.30pm on Sky Sports Darts and ending with the final on New Year's Day.
Keep up to date with the news as the PDC celebrates 25 years on Sky Sports. So get all the latest at www.skysports.com/darts and join in the conversation @SkySportsDarts - don't forget to use #LoveTheDarts